With all of the moves the White Sox made this offseason, manager Rick Renteria recognizes that — on paper — his team has vastly improved.
Renteria knows the next step is to make sure those improvements show up on the field.
“We still have to do it and get it done,” Renteria said Wednesday during a conference call.
The Sox signed catcher Yasmani Grandal in November and traded for right fielder Nomar Mazara at the winter meetings. Since leaving San Diego, the Sox have signed starting pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez, designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion and reliever Steve Cishek.
The Sox also announced a six-year, $50 million deal with center fielder Luis Robert, their top prospect.
“My expectations haven’t changed,” Renteria said. “We want to fight for the postseason. We either want to win a division, we want to be a wild card, whatever the case might be. We want to be in a place where we are winning more ballgames and putting ourselves in a relevant position to win.
“If anybody is afraid of setting expectations, this is not a place to be. It’s about winning ultimately, and the organization has done a great job to put us on better footing to be able to do that.”
The mention of Encarnacion’s name brought a smile to Renteria’s face.
“It’s exciting to be able to have someone you can slot into (the designated hitter role),” Renteria said. “Certainly his experience, his ability over the last few years to do what he does ... it’s great to have somebody to slot in there and feel fairly confident he’s going to do the things you need.”
Renteria also noted the experience Keuchel and Gonzalez provide the rotation.
“(They are) guys that have been in a lot of battles and know, again through experience, how to go through them,” Renteria said. “Their presence right now is probably going to be a big part of how we continue to move forward.
“We have, with our young guys that are still developing, a really good core, and these additions are going to put us in a much better place to be able to truly compete (and) win ballgames.”
The Sox won 72 games in 2019, 10 more than the previous season. Renteria is embracing the expectations of another jump.
“For three years, we talked about high expectations and winning, and they have been grinding and chipping away at that mentality and trying to understand it and trying to perform,” Renteria said. “You have a compilation of younger players who have been developing and learning what it’s like to be at the major-league level.
“And now they are going to have some teammates who are going to help them along the way to ... hopefully win more ballgames. Everyone in major sports wants to win, and that’s what we want to do. Our expectation is to win.”